Environment

megaloads
3:35 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Federal Judge Halts ‘Megaloads’ on Idaho Highway

A 255-foot-long piece of water purifying equipment bound for Canada waits on Highway 12 near Lewiston, Idaho for transport.
Jessica Robinson

A federal judge has halted so-called “megaload” traffic through a wild and scenic corridor in Idaho. The ruling issued Friday orders the Forest Service to close a section of highway to an Oregon company trying to move oil equipment to Canada. 

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bio-fuel research
12:30 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

WSU Tri-Cities to Head Federal Jet Bio-fuel Research Center

Washington State University will lead a new federal research center focused on finding new biofuels for jet airplanes.

Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., made the announcement Friday at the university’s new science labs in the Tri-Cities.

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Environment
4:41 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Ouch! Yellow Jackets Having 'Banner Year' in Northwest

GeorgiaOnMyMind Flickr

Still smarting from a wasp sting this summer? You're not alone. It has been a banner year for yellow jackets in the Northwest by many accounts.

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GMO food labeling
9:14 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Seattle City Council Votes to Support I-522, GMO Labeling

File image
Damian Dovarganes AP Photo

The Seattle City Council has voted, 8 to 1, to support Initiative 522, which would  require labels on food products that have been genetically modified or contain genetically-modified ingredients.

The council's decision comes ahead of the general election when voters will decide whether to approve the initiative. 

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Preventing Urban Flooding
5:01 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Seattle Park is Giant Storm Drain

The stormwater holding area at 30th Avenue East and East John can hold nearly two million gallons of stormwater during very large storms. Its expansion was completed in December 2009.
Bellamy Pailthorp photo KPLU News

Recent summer storms have many locals concerned about urban flooding, or fast-flowing water overwhelming storm drains.

In Seattle’s Madison Valley neighborhood, outdated infrastructure led to a tragic death in 2006, but the city says the chronic flooding there should be fixed now.

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Habitat restoration
5:01 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Partnership Aims to Improve Green-Duwamish River Watershed

Duwamish River Park in Georgetown is currently one of the only places people can go to experience the river
Bellamy Pailthorp photo KPLU News

A local watershed is the first in the Northwest to participate in a federal program that aims to connect people with their waterways. 

As of today, the Green River-Duwamish watershed is a part of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, which focuses on revitalizing urban waterways. Formed in 2011, the federal group aims to unify and direct the efforts of 13 federal agencies working to improve water quality.

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northwest coal
2:25 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Columbia River Tribes Oppose Plan for Coal Trains

With coal use in decline in the U.S., mining companies have found a steady revenue stream in overseas markets.

But to get it there requires a long journey by train and barge to export terminals along the Columbia River and in Puget Sound. That’s a problem, according to environmentalists and tribes who are calling for more impact studies.

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threatened species
11:42 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Feds Delay Controversial Decision on Pocket Gopher Protection

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is postponing a controversial decision on whether to list the Mazama pocket gopher as a threatened species in the South Puget Sound area.

Washington State manager Ken Berg says his agency wants six additional months to consider input from upset landowners and affected counties. Berg says farmers and ranchers in Thurston County claim there are more pocket gophers than the government realizes and that they can co-exist with human activity.

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Cascadia fault zone
5:11 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Research Cruise Reveals New Findings about Megaquake Fault

Launching the ROV Jason, the unmanned minisub which deployed heat flow sensors and probes on the seafloor.
Courtesy of Cascadia Advective Conductive Heat Expedition (CACHE)

It's been a busy summer on the high seas for researchers trying to figure out the inner workings of an ominous earthquake fault.

The Cascadia subduction zone runs offshore from Vancouver Island to Northern California. When it rips, we could have a magnitude-9.0 catastrophe. 

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climate change
5:01 am
Thu August 29, 2013

White House Council Chair to Visit Area, Discuss Climate Change

Skagit River Valley

A special guest will tour sites in the Skagit River Valley today. Nancy Sutley, the chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality will be in Mount Vernon to discuss the impacts of climate change on communities in Washington state.

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threatened species
8:09 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Frog Reared by Inmates Proposed for Endangered Species Protection

File image
AP Photo/Boise State University, Janice Engle

The U.S. fish and Wildlife Service has proposed naming the Oregon spotted frog a threatened species.

The frog is famous for the help it has received from friends in prison.

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sequester
2:59 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Forest Maintenance Projects Cut Back Due to Budget Clawback

Olympic National Forest
GD Taber Flickr

Remember the sequester? The dust is finally settling and the consequences becoming real for a program in the U.S. Forest Service that sends money to timber counties.

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City of Seattle
5:00 am
Thu August 22, 2013

'Smart Meters' Worry Some Seattle City Light Customers

Seattle City Light says new advanced electrical meters will let you monitor your power usage in real time. That way, if you see you’re using too much electricity at any given moment, you can run around and turn off a bunch of lights.

But Seattle is hearing from customers who say they’re worried the meters will collect too much data and also pose health risks.

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Environment
9:07 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Seattle City Light Finalizes License on Key Hydroelectric Dam

Seattle City Light

Seattle City Light has finalized a new 42-year license on its most productive hydroelectric dam. The agreement wraps up a process seven years in the making.

Boundary Dam sits on the Pend Oreille River in northeastern Washington. It rises to 340 feet tall, spanning a narrow canyon. 

"Oh it's awesome," said City Light's Barbara Greene. "Every time I go there, after 10 years, it's just awesome."

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Environment
9:06 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Scientists Take Aim at Mystery of Declining Salish Sea Salmon

Researchers will closely study juvenile chinook salmon as they enter the Salish Sea.
Roger Tabor U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Survival rates for salmon and steelhead in Puget Sound have plunged since the 1970s, and a big new international study is aiming to figure out why.

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